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On the Other Hand

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Nothing had appeared out of place that frigid January day. All Brian was intending to do was barrow a book from Tom. Brian parked his car in front of the Makallen residence. Little green lights displayed the time of 9:54. Stepping out of the car, he looked up at the house.

It was a cozy, little place in a nice neighborhood. The early morning snowfall had been cleared by Tom. The shovel still stood propped up against the side of the house.

Dark clouds hid both moon and stars making the night sky black as coal. A cold breeze nipped at Brian’s nose. He hurried towards the house, which appeared warm and inviting next to the chilly January air.

Wanting to escape the cold, Brian knocked once on Tom’s door. Only the silence of the dead greeted Brian. He knocked again. And again. No answer. After a brief hesitation Brian decided he would enter the house anyway. Tom was just blasting his rock and roll too loud again, Brian convinced himself.

The house had an eerie quiet about it. No rock and roll And the shadows rose up like tombstones. Even the air felt stiff. Not a light was on save one glowing dimly from the kitchen. It glowed dimly, stretching towards him like fingers trying to grasp him.

“Tom?” Brian shattered the chilling silence as if it were a piece of glass. “Tom, I came to get that book from you. Are you here?”

Slowly Brian made his way to the lonely kitchen light, knowing that something had gone amiss in the course of the evening. The only sound to be heard was the cars racing by on the street, their drivers oblivious to the horrors awaiting Brian.

Reaching the kitchen, Brian stumbled back as he beheld what was undeniably the most ghastly image he had ever come upon. Tom’s lifeless eyes stared up at the ceiling. His face, once a colorful display of emotion, was now white and blank.

The fingers of his right hand were clutched tightly around a gun.



A full two weeks of agony had passed since Brian’s unfortunate discovery of Tom’s suicide. Brian still felt a hole within him. Time would not erase that terrible memory of finding Tom dead on the kitchen floor. The nights were still spent sleepless with dread, the days still long with pain. Often enough tears would take their turn slowly running down his cheeks as he thought of his dear friend.

The police’s investigation of the case tormented Brian. He hated the way they pried for details, the way they made him recount the terrors again and again. Every time he was forced to retell the story, it became as poignantly clear as the night it had happened.

The call from Tom’s widow, Cara, came very unexpectedly.

Cara was a fine young lady in many regards. She and Tom had been sweethearts all through high school, marrying each other shortly after graduation. Her status as valedictorian and the class beauty queen made Tom the envy of every other boy at school.

Brian pulled up to the driveway for the first time since that dreadful night. Walking up to the house, he could hear a noise he would not have expected. It was laughter of two different people. One voice was Cara’s, the other’s an unidentified, low chuckle. When Brian rang the doorbell the house fell silent as the grave.

In moments Cara had opened the door. Greeting Brian warmly, she invited him into the house. Cara appeared to be taking Tom’s recent death well, quite well in fact. She looked drop dead gorgeous with her make-up all done and her blonde hair fixed perfectly in a bun atop her head. Her crystal, blue eyes twinkled with some strange sort of giddiness. She almost seemed to be keeping a secret.

“You called and asked if I would come by,” Brian began uneasily. Glancing down the hall leading to the kitchen, he felt tears fill his eyes. Exerting all his will, Brian barely managed to keep those tears from falling.

“Oh, yes, of course,” Cara went back to another room of the house. She soon returned carrying a dusty, old photo album. “I found these pictures of you and Thomas together. They look like they’re from high school. I want you to have them.”

“I couldn’t take these from you,” Brian protested. “I couldn’t steal memories of Tom from his wife.”

“Please, think nothing of it. They aren’t really my memories; they’re yours,” Cara insisted. “I’m not even in any of them.” Brian glanced at the album. Having no real desire to argue, he took it from Cara’s hands.

A small, rustling noise could be heard from the kitchen. Suddenly a familiar feeling came over Brian. It was the same premonition of evil that troubled him just before he found Tom dead. Something was wrong, but what?

As if in answer to Brian’s unspoken question, a man emerged from the kitchen. He was a movie star, or at least he looked the part. Tall, dark, and handsome, he clearly portrayed any girl’s fantasy man.

“Cara? What’s taking you so long?” the man scowled. “You said it would only be a minute.”

“Brian, this is my brother,” Cara hastily explained, her face suddenly pale. “He’s in town visiting me.”

“Nice to meet you,” Brian said as he shook the man’s hand. It was odd, he thought, that the man Cara claimed to be a relative held no resemblance to her in any way. Wanting to escape the place as quickly as possible, Brian hurriedly said goodbye and left the house.

As he was about to get into his car, Brian glanced back at what was once Tom’s home. Through the window he saw Cara passionately kissing the man she declared to be her brother.

Suddenly the scene flashed before him once again. Brian was going to Tom’s house to borrow a book. Cara had been out shopping when Brian got to the house. Making his way into the kitchen, Brian saw Tom’s body on the floor, gun in his right hand…

But Tom was left handed.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Ahmad-Mobeen said...
Dec. 11, 2011 at 9:02 am

It's really great! =)

Well, guyz, I'm new here and would really appreciate your support. Please give my story "The Enigmatic Cause" a read and rate it! Please! Sorry if this feels wrong to you. Thanks. =)

 
AliceFurukawa said...
May 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm
I like it. You should write more...brilliant and smart. I love mysteries! :)
 
Jack_Walton said...
Dec. 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm
Very well written. I noticed a few spelling and capitalization errors, but that was really all I noticed that was wrong.
The story itself was a bit predictable in my opinion, but you write very well. Keep up the great work! I hope to see more from you ;)
 
lee.devo said...
Nov. 2, 2009 at 11:56 am
This story is awesome! you should rite more!
 
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